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100 Costa Rome (Civitavecchia) Cruise Reviews

I want to preface this review by saying I'm not often a big complainer. I can roll with most annoyances with ease and I rarely feel the need to make an issue. But this was by far the WORST CRUISE in my entire life. Why did we go? ... Read More
I want to preface this review by saying I'm not often a big complainer. I can roll with most annoyances with ease and I rarely feel the need to make an issue. But this was by far the WORST CRUISE in my entire life. Why did we go? Never been to Europe before and Costa had numerous itineraries, dates, and prices to choose from so it was the sheer availability of options that other lines simply did not offer. Next, I've cruised with Costa twice in the past (both in the Caribbean) and it was wonderful. The price was right compared to other US-based lines. Where did it go? Understand that this cruise, and I assume all others, are basically a 7-day ferry service to various ports. Folks will embark and disembark at different ports during the week, so it's not a traditional everyone gets on and leaves at same port. That being said, we boarded and left at Civitavecchia (Rome's port). We visited Savona, Italty; Marseille, France; Barcelona, Spain; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; and Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy. Having not been to Europe before, these were appealing ports because most were places I would not ordinarily visit on a first time. What did I know BEFORE Leaving? This is important and you have to do your own research before leaving. I knew that the bulk of passengers were Europeans and English speaking guests were likely in the minority. I knew that passengers embarked and disembarked at various ports throughout the week. I knew that lifeboat safety drills were done at every port. I knew that entertainment on-board was likely geared towards European passengers and the language would be mostly in Italian. All this being said, I went on this cruise with a positive outlook and knowing it would be very different than a traditional North American cruise. Next, let's talk about why this cruise was horrible. I will discuss positives at the end and other general issues like cabin, ship, ports, etc, but this is really what English-speaking guests need to know before going on this cruise. I. CANCELLED EXCURSIONS and DISCRIMINATION TOWARDS ENGLISH SPEAKING GUESTS This is by far the biggest complaint and totally ruined this cruise. I can understand an excursion cancelled due to lack of participants because an outside company is used and if only a few folks select that excursion, than obviously it won't go forward. The problem lies in how a participant is defined. On this ship, a participant is not simply defined by having a human body but rather defined on the language spoken by the human. In short, the number of excursions available to English-speaking guests is far less than what is available to Italian speaking guests. YOU WILL HAVE NOT THE SAME OPTIONS AS OTHER GUESTS AND WILL BE TREATED DIFFERENTLY. In Savona (our first port), we pre-booked a seemingly wonderful sounding excursion only to find out, on embarkation day, that it was cancelled with no explanation so we were forced to choose another and had a very limited number of available options. At the excursion desk we were told we had about 3 to 4 to choose from for English speaking guests; which told me that if I spoke Italian, I would have had more. The excursion we ended up with was mostly ok, but it was not one we would have selected. Details on the excursion will follow later on. In Barcelona (our third port), we pre-booked an excursion that sounded great on paper, only to find out the night before that it was being cancelled. Once again, the same process was repeated at the excursion desk BUT this time we found out that our original selection was cancelled because there were not enough English-speaking guests who selected that particular excursion. The excursion was ended up having to pick was nothing short of a pointless, waste of time, and ended up costing MORE MONEY than the original one we wanted. Finally and the most incriminating of all was that Costa offered a behind the scenes tour of the Diadema on the at-sea day. A copy of the excursion description is attached. Once again, the night before we found out that we would NOT be able to do the ship tour. However, the ship was kind enough to provide a written letter explaining why. At the same time, the letter (also attached) completely confirmed by suspicion that English-speaking were clearly being discriminated against and proof lies in the letter. Whether you speak English, Italian, French, German, or Spanish; everyone pays to be on this ship and have the same options as everyone else. The ship tour is conducted entirely by Costa; unlike the shore excursions. The ship tour was made available to everyone, for a price, which we were willing to pay. There is NO EXCUSE for us not being to take advantage of this exclusive tour but for we were English-speaking guests. It was confirmed to me later on that the ship tour did in-fact go forward and the original Barcelona excursion also went forward. Remember that Costa is owned by the Carnival Corporation (a US company). Costa is mostly an Italian-oriented cruise line but you cannot treat English-speaking guests differently simply because there's not many of them. It's not my problem that not many English speakers booked this nightmare of a cruise. I personally addressed the cancelled excursions, with emphasis on the ship tour, with the shore excursions manager and the guest services people (who are mostly pointless) and it was confirmed that the ship defines participants based on the language they speak. The shore-based excursions are limited if you're an English speaker and you will not the same options as everyone else. Even on your tour (assuming it goes forward), English speakers will be grouped with another language, so the tour operator does the tour in both languages. The ship-based tour, however, is 100% within the control of the ship and an accommodation should have been made. The Diadema flatly DENIED us the ship tour, we were willing to pay for, simply because not enough other English-speakers wanted to do it. This amounts to a form of discrimination based on national origin and I will formally address it with Carnival. In short, ENGLISH-SPEAKERS please know that you will be treated differently. You will be in the minority. Expect an excursion or two, or three, to be cancelled due to lack of other participants who also speak English. You will not have the same tour options as other guests. II. GROSS INEFFICIENCY On Deck 3 there is a desk called Hospitality Service Desk which is staffed by mostly pointless individuals who cannot do a damn thing except tell where you need to go to address your problem. These same individuals also give conflicting information and clearly have no idea what's going on half of the time. The first instance was an embarkation day. We wanted to exchange some USA currency to Euros and were told we could do so but only before 5pm which left us 10 minutes. So we raced to our room, got the cash, went back down, waited in line, only to be told that it had to be done before 4pm and we cannot do until after Marseille (2 days later). Keep in mind we were at the same desk, just talking to a different person. How is it that a group of people working at the same desk can be on two totally different understandings? The next instance involved the complaints with our cancelled excursions. The hospitality desk told us we need to talk to the excursions department. What the hell is the point of the hospitality desk if they cannot address passengers concerns. The final instance was on disembarkation day when we had to deal with several issues on our final bill. After waiting in line, the hospitality service guy said we needed to talk an individual sitting at a setup desk, with a laptop, to address the billing issues. Let that sink in...a sole individual, sitting at a setup desk, with only a laptop, to address ALL account issues for ALL passengers disembarking in Rome. After being told this, we flatly yelled at the hospitality service people saying, "You people are pointless!" So, before going, know that the Hospitality Service Desk is relatively pointless. The resolution you'll get will be them telling you to go some place else and talk to whoever else. Also, you will get conflicting information because clearly these people do not talk amongst themselves. I've never seen such gross inefficiency, lack of communication, and lack of clarity onboard a ship. Overall, a complete waste of time. III. Horrible Food I'm not a food critic. I have no idea what's supposed to be good and what's not. I can only go by whether I liked it or not, the portion size, temperature, availability of options, and if I'd order it again. In short, the food in the main dining room was awful. They are all about presentation but the accompaniments, such as sauces, drizzles, etc) were small and mainly just there to look nice; even though they were actually GOOD and should have been in greater quantity. Service took forever. Our waiter was very difficult to understand. The food itself was mostly forgettable and gross. The best meal we had was in the Samsara Restaurant, for which there was a charge. The buffet breakfasts were mediocre and the concept of cooked bacon is elusive as another English-speaking guest. Lunch in the formal dinning room, which we did on the at-sea day, was equally gross. The buffalo mozzarella cheese they pride themselves on looked like a white ball of gelatin and was disgusting. The buffet lunches on the Lido Deck were so-so, and by the time you found a seat, good your drink, and were ready to eat your food was cold. Out of all the dinners we had in the formal dining room, only ONE was excellent. Do yourself favor, eat in port if you can. Overall, the worst food and the worst dining I've ever had....and I'm usually content eating at places ranging from Pizza Hut to a 4-star restaurant. Compared to other cruises, this was by far the worst. IV. WARM ROOM I've preface this part by disclosing I'm from Florida. Therefore, I'm used to constant air conditioning and cool indoor environments. Also, this may be an issue that's more specific to me and not representative to everyone. That being said, on prior cruises, the ventilation and thermostat in the cabin was mostly comfortable. Not here! For the first FOUR DAYS we made daily complaints to the un-Hospitality Services Desk about the lack of airflow in our cabin and the perpetual stuffiness. You could feel cold air coming through the vent but it wasn't forceful. The technician told us they would increase the air flow and seemed to acknowledge there should be more air. The issues didn't seem to resolve itself until about day 5. Thus, for over half of this cruise, we spent in a stuffy room and waking up sweaty and gross. V. GENERAL THOUGHTS 1. Cabin Overall, the cabin size was adequate and roomy. No major complaints other than the AC issue. The bed was somewhat comfortable BUT the pillows were thin and I need 2 in order to actually lay flat. Even then, the pillows were hard and I ended up using the one of the pullout couch. Don't bother with the TV because there's only a few English channels ranging from business news (who cares), BBC News, and a movie station that's actually Italian but plays with English movies. Closets and storage spaces were plentiful. The bathroom was what you'd expect. Adequate shelving. However, the shower curtain doesn't go all the way down to the floor for some unknown reason so water gets all over the floor from the water dripping down the curtain and from splashing out. I tried moving in the limiting room available to avoid the water splashing out; it looked like a Cirque du Soleil in there. The cabin steward was very good and the room was kept clean and orderly. THERE IS NO TURN DOWN SERVICE and no cute towel animals. Not a major issue but just something to know. 2. Entertainment an Activities Not much say to here because we didn't do anything except see a few shows. Know that Mediterranean cruises are heavily port-insensitive so days started early and we were mostly tired by the end of them. Most shows were done in Italian with little english thrown in so we didn't bother. The production shows were good and enjoyable. The acrobatic stuff was cool. They could have had more universal type shows so everyone could enjoy regardless of language; such as magicians, variety acts that do not involve speaking, or anything you see an AGT (America's Got Talent) that involves dancing, light acts, etc. 3. Ports By now, you've already read and understood the excursions issue we had so this bit is more on the specific ports and our experiences with the tours we had. Savona - A mostly pointless port as the bulk of excursions were to Genoa, so why not just go there? I would have liked to have seen the Cinque Terre, Portofino, and Genoa but the availability wasn't there [for English speaking guests]. The excursion we ended up took us to two small towns which were wonderful and charming. But I would rather seen the Cinque Terre. Stopping in Genoa, La Spezia, or Livorno would have lent itself to more cooler excursions and things to see; assuming of course they aren't cancelled. Would I return to this port, NO. Select a route that goes to Genoa, La Spezia, or Livorno. Marseille - There is a lot here and our pre-booked excursion actually went forward! We were in a tour with another language so heard the information twice. The guide was wonderful and I appreciated the time she took having to do double the work. I would have liked more time to see Marseille but our excursion took us to two small towns in Provence (Arles and Saint Remy).At each town, you had at least an hour of free time. Overall, this was an enjoyable day and no major complaints or issues. Would I return to this port, YES...on another cruise of course. Barcelona - Barcelona has A LOT to offer and A LOT to see. I would suggest booking your own excursion with an outside company. We separately booked tickets for the Sagrada Familia before we left and planned accordingly. You want to see the inside of this church as it is magnificent. Our original excursion would have taken us to different landmarks around the city an allowed free time. It was only 4 hours in the AM, which left us enough time to make it back to the Sagrada for our tour inside. The excursion we ended up with was a complete waste of time. You saw Barcelona's treasured landmarks from a bus, but I was sitting on the wrong side so I didn't get to see them. And there was no let-off time to actually see them. We did better exploring on our own. My advice, if you're in Barcelona for a long time, look for an outside company that can do a tour in 5-6 hours. Or, do a ship-based excursion that allows you to see the major sights BUT do not miss seeing the inside of the Sagrada Familia. Would I return to this port, absolutely YES. I would return here on my own. Palma de Mallorca - Palma is on the island of Mallorca, which is part of Spain and right off the coast from Barcelona. This is a truly wonderful port and was the highlight of the entire cruise. We pre-booked the dragon caves tour and it went forward (yay). The excursion was great, nicely coordinated, guide was wonderful, and only lasted 4-5 hours which left you the entire afternoon to see an explore Palma on your own. There was a stop to a pearl factory but I could less about glass pearls so it mostly yawn time for me. Do not do a full day tour here. You want time to explore Palma and eat at the local restaurants. For me, the food in Palma was among the best food I had during the cruise...because it wasn't that garbage served onboard. Would I return to this port, YES. I would combine this with a Barcelona vacation in a heartbeat. Cagliari - Cagliari is the capital city on the island of Sardinia which is part of Italy. We did a walking tour of the city which was helpful because we dropped out of the tour about 3/4 of the way and went back to see stuff on our own and eat at the local restaurants which were very good. There is a lot of shopping and nice sights; but the city itself is rather grimy (graffiti on the walls, poorly cared for buildings, etc) but whatever. The beaches in Sardinia are supposedly beautiful but we didn't see any. There is a nearby beach called Poetto which is the main beach for Cagliari, but the island's more prettier beaches are about 45 minutes outside of the city. Overall, this was an average port and worthwhile seeing. Would I return to this port, POSSIBLY but not in a hurry. If I did, I would want to see the beaches on the rest of the island. 4. The Ship Itself Despite all the issues, the Diadema is a gorgeous ship. The atrium lobby is breathtaking. The colors and design are very nice and what I expected based on two prior Costa cruises. The public spaces were nice. The pool areas were nice. There seemed to be adequate deck space for chairs, but we didn't use the pools at all because it was mostly chilly this time of year. The ship was kept clean and despite the prevalence of Europeans, there was not a lot of smoking and no indoor smoking permitted. There is no promenade deck that encompasses the ship! In prior cruises, we would enjoy strolling on a deck (usually around decks 6 to 4) that takes you all around the ship. That doesn't exist on this ship and the only promenade deck to speak of is actually up the pool and you have to go up and down various stairs and you have no access to the bow of the ship. The main dining room was not as lavishly decorated as you'd expect and the main theater was a bit underwhelming. The casino is SMALL compared to other ships. 5. Embarkation The embarkation process varies from port to port, so I can only talk about Civitavecchia and it was a breeze, efficient, and hassle-free. The terminal building is a new and construction remains ongoing but the inside was sleek, clean, and had adequate seating (upstairs ONLY). We had our bags relatively quickly. Overall, no major issues or complaints. 6. Disembarkation The ship's disembarkation process structure was fine and I have no complaints. The process of reconciling your account is an absolute disaster and goes back to issues of gross inefficiency addressed above. Remember the terminal I discussed above? Herein lies the problem, if you are disembarked and waiting for a car service or whatever, there is NO PLACE TO SIT INSIDE OR OUTSIDE. All the seating is upstairs past security. We weren't 100% of exactly when we would be able to leave the ship so we told our car service to pick us by 11, but we were actually off by 9:30 so we waiting around for over an hour with no place to sit except the ground. My advice, if you are pre-arranging a car service, give them the hour after the ship pulls into port. For example, if you're arriving in Civitavecchia at 8am, tell the car service 9 and then request the earliest disembarkation time (I was told you could do that). VI. CONCLUSION and FINAL COMMENTS I would never again go on another Costa cruise; even if they gave me a free cruise or credit towards another. Compared to my last two Costa cruises, this was horrible. My next Mediterranean cruise will ONLY be on a US-cruise line such as Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, or grudgingly NCL. If you're considering a first time Mediterranean cruise, I would highly recommend leaving from Civitavecchia because you will want a few days to explore Rome. Rome itself is at least an hour from Civitavecchia so any Rome-centered excursions will be a full day and you'll be paraded through the major sights at rushed speed. We spent 4 full days in Rome before the cruise even left; there's just so much to see and you don't want to be rushed. I would seriously reconsider any thoughts you might have about going on this ship. Do your own research, read the comments and reviews, and know what to expect before you go. If you've never done a Mediterranean cruise, I would look for a US-based line instead because if you go with Costa, you will be disappointed and frustrated every day. I would definitely NOT recommend this cruise to anyone and it was an overall disappointment and a blight on my entire cruising experience. If anyone wishes to contact me directly with specific questions or concerns, I'm happy to respond. Send your email to sfarkas425@gmail.com and put "Costa Review" in the subject line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We wanted to try to cruise with Costa. The embarkation was not organized. People lined up wanted to get to the ship as soon as possible, despite we got our number to got in. The room was cline. Lunch for the first day was fine, but ... Read More
We wanted to try to cruise with Costa. The embarkation was not organized. People lined up wanted to get to the ship as soon as possible, despite we got our number to got in. The room was cline. Lunch for the first day was fine, but no coffee or tea, had to wait till 16.00 pm,unless if we pay for it. Dinner was not good, soup was not hot, very hectic. The waiter was unpatient to take the orders. Because he was alone to take care many tables. No explanation from daily menu. We have to ordered very quick. After dinner we had to wait long time to get our coffee , because they had to get from the bar. On the following day our coffee were served before dinner. We had 3 times fire drills, which was disrupted our nap. We booked premium balcony, unfortunately the room below the deck pool, we could hear when people moving the chairs. The worst night was on the 3rd day and the 5th day of the cruise, when they had loud party on the deck pool. We tried to call the receptionist, no body pick up the phone after 15 minutes of waiting. I had to go on the 3rd floor to complain about the noises. But no body listen to us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I wanted to take my mom on a cruise for her upcoming 65th birthday as she loves cruises and they're usually the best way to relax and visit so many different countries/places. We have cruised before with Norwegian Cruise Line and I ... Read More
I wanted to take my mom on a cruise for her upcoming 65th birthday as she loves cruises and they're usually the best way to relax and visit so many different countries/places. We have cruised before with Norwegian Cruise Line and I have cruised myself several times with Carnival, but as she lives in Bosnia and Herzegovina now, so the closest and the best cruise that worked for the dates I was visiting her was Costa Diadema 7 day cruise out of Civitavecchia. I noticed right away that on our Costa cards there was a designation of WaterUSA, so to our surprise this meant that you could only get water for free, without being charged, while you were at the restaurant/buffet during breakfast, lunch or dinner hours. Otherwise, they charged for a glass/bottle of water. Same goes for juices, which were only available during the breakfast hours. This was our very first shocker. Dinner experience was horrendous. You are assigned to a restaurant at a specific time, so you have to go there during the assigned time, otherwise you would need to go to the buffet. Food quality was good, but the dining experience every time, except for the last night was horrendous. I'll explain. We wanted to change to 2nd sitting option and that request would need to go to effect next evening, not the same evening; fine, not a big deal. We go next evening to the second sitting and needless to say that waiter only the first night was ok/kinda friendly for the first sitting which we changed. The waited at the 2nd sitting our 2nd night seemed to care less about customer service or just showing a smile, everything seemed like a chore and like a bother to him. At the end, I noticed that my card was not returned once I got to my cabin after ordering a glass of wine. I went back to the restaurant and he claimed that he gave it back to me and to talk to the Maitre D. She was confused as to why I was directed to talk to her, but she tried her best to resolve the issue and mentioned we can request a new card and get it in the room the next day. I got the new Costa Card but lo' and behold all of a sudden my old card was thrown on the floor of the room by someone who obviously dropped it in there. Next day, we obviously didn't even want to go back to our table and requested to be switched to a different one with a different table, so we decided to eat at a buffet, as by now we knew this request wouldn't be completed the same evening, but rather the next day. Next day, our new waiter on the other side of the restaurant seemed overwhelmed and we waited for a while until we were able to place our orders. He noticed that my Costa Card showed the previous table and wanted to tell us we are seated at the wrong table, but I showed him a temporary card given until the new card arrives. Right away, negative kind of attitude. The order by which he took orders didn't seem to match when each party got seated, as other parties that arrived later seemed to get service prior to us already waiting there for a while. Finally, when we placed the orders and the food came to us, he got one of the orders wrong. All in all, it would have been nice to see these waiters be more friendly and not act like we are bothering them by dining there. Our dining took about 2 hours because of all the waiting to order and waiting for food (correct food order). Needless to say, we wanted to see right after that dining experience if we have an option of doing the open seating restaurant Corona Bleu that seemed to have a nicer ambiance. We were told to just go there and that it's free and there is no difference other than having open seating, which would be perfect for us. We went to Corona Bleu the next day and the lady at the front said that it's a 5euro cover charge per person as we would be taking someone else's table. I explained that we were told at our assigned restaurant to come there, but she didn't seem to care to find a solution and just said that I could go back to our assigned restaurant and asked to be assigned to Corona Bleu if there is availability. Of course, that made us go back (due to all sorts of miscommunication happening all the time and lack of customer service), to wait again for next evening to find out if we were able to get the Corona Bleu. We would be notified via letter in our cabin by next day. We opted for dining at the buffet. Next day, no letter, we go to our assigned restaurant to give it and that waiter one more chance, he right away said that an older Italian man is sitting at our table and it's not ours. I was confused and mentioned we were not notified. He seemed almost angry and very unfriendly to have to deal with it, as he referred us to Maitre D who said we were assigned to Corona Bleu. Advising no one has notified us, as was indicated, asked if they can call to mention we are coming, as we don't want to miss the dinner time. Finally, our last night there, all the confusion and unfriendliness, but we got to Corona Bleu and at first our waiter was overwhelmed and didn't seem to know what to do with us, as our table wasn't even set up properly, but he did get us water by telling another waiter to bring it for us so we don't have to wait a long time again. Finally, one of the supervisors was checking to see if everything is going well and we explained our frustration and that even here we weren't sure who our waiter is and it's our last night and this whole experience has been frustrating. He didn't seem to care much either but he listened and sent our waiter, who was indeed very friendly and apologetic and explained he tried to tend to a table with the birthday cake. 2nd Maitre D or manager came that has a higher position that the previous one, Francesco, who really took the time out to listen and resolve the issue, even though it was kind of late, but he did what he could that night to finally make our dining experience a positive one. The waiter with a unique name that unfortunately I can't remember now was indeed very nice and attentive. Francesco tried to make up for all the other negative dining experience days by bringing out a free delicious birthday cake for my mom, as I mentioned it was my birthday present to her in advance, and she didn't want that kind of recognition necessarily as her birthday is not until September, but he did it anyways. Also, he noticed that I was drinking red wine and had the waiter bring me the quality red wine that he likes to have a few glasses of. I wish as he said that we were able to find Francesco sooner, as he was the only one that understood the concept of customer service. Entertainment crew was great, so luckily at least we were able to relax and enjoy the evening dance events with them. They were very energetic, funny, and friendly. The highlight of our cruise was dancing with them. Especially if it's your first time cruising, by all means, please choose a different cruise company, as they simply don't care for customer service or to resolve any issues you will have on the cruise. I have more details of interactions with guest services/reception and so much miscommunication and misguidance on their part as well that would take another page to get into, but the dining experience was really what every night frustrated us and took away from the whole cruise experience and even the quality of food that was actually pretty good. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
So we left from Barcelona to Valencia, persecuted by a day at sea, but ... on 5 May, when entering Cagliari, there was a report of technical problems, but no problem, because everyone had to be at 17 o'clock (the normal departure ... Read More
So we left from Barcelona to Valencia, persecuted by a day at sea, but ... on 5 May, when entering Cagliari, there was a report of technical problems, but no problem, because everyone had to be at 17 o'clock (the normal departure time) back on board. Nevertheless, at 18 o'clock we got the message that all excursions of the next day, 6 May, were canceled and that the port Civitavecchia-Rome was removed from the program. Very disappointing, because our highlight of the cruise, the Rome visit, literally and figuratively fell into the water. Our disappointment was even greater when our planned visit to Monte Carlo (Monaco), from Savona, could not continue. Only at 10 pm on the "Diario di bordo" it was reported that the ship would depart on 7 May, around 3 pm and everyone should be on board at 12 o'clock. Every opportunity to do something on land fell away again through this early departure. It was therefore frustrating that the departure of 15 hours eventually became 18 o'clock.  So you will be "hostage" on the ship for a whole day (the casino is closed, the shops are closed, the excursion office is closed, there is no animation) and the worst of all, no information is provided! The only answer to the office desk is: "Contact your travel agency for complaints". In Savona we were only allowed to disembark at 3 pm, which was too late for a quiet trip. What had to be a beautiful cruise was turned out for us on a cruise with a lot of lost time, with a lot of bored walking around on the ship, and without any added value of cruising, so that more than half of the cruise remained far below our expectations! Compensation from Costa, purchase ticket of 50 Euro to spend on the next cruise. Customer service ZERO !!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Sadly I found this cruise horribly disappointing! We had multiple issues on board and no help. My first issue was with the social media internet package. It never worked properly. I purchased it mainly for instagram and I never was able to ... Read More
Sadly I found this cruise horribly disappointing! We had multiple issues on board and no help. My first issue was with the social media internet package. It never worked properly. I purchased it mainly for instagram and I never was able to get it to work. I spoke to the same customer service person everyday trying to get it fixed. Then the whole thing shut down and would not work at all. When I showed them I was promised a refund and was later denied because the IT department said it worked fine from their end. That is all great and wonderful, but as a customer who paid for a service I did not receive it. I was told an IT person denied my refund, I never met this person he never looked at my phone or tablet as both didn't work. We then purchased an excursion after being told there was going to be a train strike. Excursion Florence and Pisa this experience was probably one of the worst things I have ever done. First the tour guide lost in the walk to Pisa, he never even took into account that a 4 year can't walk as fast as an adult. When I called him to find out where he was, he hung up on me, I called back and tried to tell him where I was, but he didn't listen to everything and again hung up. After waiting 15 minutes I called again and he realized how upset I was, he at last listened to where I was. We made a meeting point, but at this point our whole time Pisa was gone and we didn't get to see much of the Tower other than in passing. The tour guide then said he would stay with us in Florence and match his walk to my sons walk. He did for about 5 minutes then took off. I ended up carrying my 4 year old all over Florence, but what makes it even worse is that he was moving so fast people were pushing to keep up and my FATHER FELL. He injured himself and his DSLR camera. He asked if my father was ok then proceeded to go on his way not trying to assist in any other way. At this point you would have thought he would slow down. He did not, my father is limping to keep up. Florence was again miserable. Then on the way home we stop at one point so the driver and guide could use the restroom, they don't even bother to ask us. My son who had gone to bathroom prior to leaving had to pee, but it wasn't about us I guess. We then get to the ship I rush off get to the boat carrying my son who is in tears having to pee and ask 3 different employees where the closest restroom is and they all say I DON"T KNOW. I then had to rush up 2 flights of stairs, but it was too late. My son who I told just make it to the boat and all will be ok, had an accident. I then go to talk to customer service and directed to the Excursion office, I spoke to a women who promises to get back to me in 24 hours. She never did! So the next day I go back down to find out what happened and I am told there is nothing they can do. I then ask to speak to a manager. I am told she will be down in a moment, I said ok but I was timing her. I was pretty upset at this point. 20 minutes later no one has arrived. I ask again where this person is, they are surprised she isn't there and call again. Again I am told just a minute 10 minutes later she finally arrives. She apologizes and says sorry I was eating dinner, I am sorry but leaving a customer waiting and then telling them you were eating is pretty upsetting. My family was saving a table at the buffet and unable to eat, which I told her. There should have been another person on call to handle something while she was eating. I completely understand them needing breaks, I don't understand being left waiting. I tell her my story, all I am asking for is a refund on our miserable tour, she says all she can do is one ticket. I am sorry this is unacceptable. I ask about my father and camera and she says that isn't her problem, I can file a claim with insurance. At no time did she apologize. She acted surprised said the tour was great for kids. That is great and wonderful, but is was horrible for us. She said the Tour manager had made her decision, again didn't meet her. There was no I am sorry for what has happened, no let me see what I can do. No offer of anything. The one positive I have about the cruise is the fantastic staff they have in the kids club. They are amazing at what they do. As someone who has 17 years in Customer Service first Disney and now an airline (I purchased this cruise through Costa) I am very disappointed in the customer service staff on board that ship. I have never been anywhere as unwilling to help as this cruise. The food is only mediocre and it is the same thing everyday. They also close off areas in the buffet for pay for restaurants, I would understand this if they had been even half full, but they were completely empty. So you lose seating for the buffet for empty restaurants. We also did not getting any disembarkation information until after 10pm I had to go and hunt down someone for everything so we could go to sleep. I called at 8pm trying to find out where it was and was told it was on its way. You also had to be out of the room, prior to even docking back in Barcelona. If most cruises can turn a whole ship without doing that, how is it Costa can't turn half that in 4 hours. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was the worst cruise I have ever taken, based solely on the onboard experience. I was shocked at how bad our cruise experience was. And extremely disappointed. Stem-to-stern I have never encountered so much unprofessional behavior ... Read More
This was the worst cruise I have ever taken, based solely on the onboard experience. I was shocked at how bad our cruise experience was. And extremely disappointed. Stem-to-stern I have never encountered so much unprofessional behavior by any cruise ship's staff. At all levels. We were treated rudely by nearly every member of Diadema's staff. And the overall customer experience clearly indicates that Costa Diadema's staff are among the most poorly trained in the cruise industry. Dining room staff were rude and bad at their jobs. Our stateroom steward was nice but very, very bad at his job, always forgetting to clean in a timely manner and when he did get to our room, would always forget to perform some basic, necessary duties. Two of our shore tours were cancelled only at the last minute, leaving us with very few options to choose an alternative tour. We were left on our own in multiple ports, because Diadema refused to offer English language tours due to a low number of English speaking clients; that's not totally illogical but the fact that they waited until the last minute to advise us that they were cancelling is unprofessional and incredibly rude. And to make matters worse, when we tried to work with staff at the Tour Desk, we were treated poorly, were lied to, and generally experienced several staff members who did not wish to perform their jobs. We had to beg them to focus and beg them to get answers to our questions. When we boarded we were told by two Costa staff to hand our USA passports over at the ship's Front Desk. We did so and were given receipts. Days later we read that Americans needed their passports in port for Monaco, so we went to the desk to request that ours be returned to us. The two staff members at the passport pickup desk proceeded to claim that Diadema NEVER took our passports and therefore did not have them. They said they never take passports from Americans. Both people were extremely rude to us. When we pointed out to them that we had receipts in our hands from the ship's staff member who took our passports from us, then and only then (but only after we refused to leave) did one of the two staff members agree to walk somewhere else and see what the problem was. She did so with extreme and obvious anger, like an angry child. Of course she DID find our passports and ultimately they were returned to us. But even then she had the gall to accuse US of being at fault for having turned in our passports in the first place! COSTA STAFF TOLD US TO TURN IN OUR PASSPORTS WHEN WE CAME ONBOARD!!! We were shocked at the constant rudeness onboard Diadema. And we were not alone; we met a few other non-Italian cruisers, all of whom told us that they were seeing and experiencing the same kinds of unprofessionalism and outrageously rude behaviour from all of the ship's staff. All of us agreed that staff were particularly rude toward Americans. Not once did any of us observe Italian guests being treated that way. Disgusting behavior. Costa Diadema staff clearly do not have a customer service focus on their poorly-run ship. I've cruised dozens of times on many cruise lines and have never in my life experienced the general rudeness and unprofessional behaviour that we experienced everywhere on the Costa Diadema. I'm not only unhappy, I am genuinely angry. Not only will I never sail again on Costa, but I will shame them publicly in cruise web communities - as I am here - as the single worst cruise line and worst cruise ship possible. If Costa is serious about solving their significant and many problems, they will have to start listening to their customers, and they will require serious retraining with a focus on customers. Right now Costa clearly don't care about their customers. Shame on them. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
After deciding on a five day stay in Rome, we chose Costa Deliziosa due to the return route, and time of year. The boarding process was routine, however, the rest of the trip went down hill from there. For the lifeboat drill, we were told ... Read More
After deciding on a five day stay in Rome, we chose Costa Deliziosa due to the return route, and time of year. The boarding process was routine, however, the rest of the trip went down hill from there. For the lifeboat drill, we were told to report to three different locations by three different staff members. After walking around the ship, looking for the right place, we missed almost the entire life boat drill. A female staffer said don't worry about it. The only acceptable part of this cruise was the cabin and steward. He was very accommodating and friendly. The food was beyond terrible, with a main stay of pork. The only meal that was acceptable was breakfast. Limited coffee and tea and payment required for any extras. The food lacked quality, taste, and any form of seasoning. Limited beverages during dinner hours. Most of the shows were terrible, mostly catered to the European passengers, who many were rude and pushy. The ports were mostly mediocre at best, and it appeared that Costa was trying to save money in every manner possible. Anyone desiring to take this cruise ship needs a good session with a psychiatrist. We have taken two other Costa cruises originating in the USA which were acceptable, prior to this one. If there were any ratings listed below one, most of the categories would be listed in the "This must be a joke or a prank" section. We could not wait to get off of the cruise ship. A total waste of time and money. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We selected this cruise for the itinerary. This was really the only good thing about it. From the moment we boarded, we felt as though we had been had. Never have we been on a cruise that was so terrible! EVERYTHING is extra on this ship. ... Read More
We selected this cruise for the itinerary. This was really the only good thing about it. From the moment we boarded, we felt as though we had been had. Never have we been on a cruise that was so terrible! EVERYTHING is extra on this ship. They do NOT offer complimentary coffee or water. They do NOT have free ice cream or pizza. Their drink packages FORCE you and your cabin-mate to take the most expensive of the packages selected. It was a disgrace. The food was hardly edible. Very salty and lack of variety. Don't even try to ask for a cup of coffee after your meal. The dining room refuses to serve coffee. They force you to go to the bar where you have to pay for it!!!! Breakfast in the dining room was a disgrace. The a la carte menu, once again, not edible. I don't know about you, but when I opt for dining room over buffet, it's because I don't want to get up and fight a crowd to have my meal. Well, guess what... It's exactly what you will have to do, even juice is not served at the table. Good luck finding a cheerful waiter to bring you a horrible cup of coffee and take your a la carte order (basically the egg dish). Anything else (fruit, pastries, juice, etc...), you have to get yourself! This ship only has 1,000 crew members for 4,000 passengers. It's no wonder they are frequently impolite and irritable. My husband came across several restaurant crew members in the bathroom and I'm sorry to say, they failed to wash their hands.... This cruise line is a disaster, and if you hold it to the standard expected of cruises, you will be disappointed. My advice: find another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I'm sorry to have to write this and perhaps add to Costas problems, however I believe people should be able to make an informed decision. We went on this cruise with no prior views on the changes Costa has made in recent months. On ... Read More
I'm sorry to have to write this and perhaps add to Costas problems, however I believe people should be able to make an informed decision. We went on this cruise with no prior views on the changes Costa has made in recent months. On the good side we booked directly with costa UK and got a good bargain for a premium balcony cabin. if I had paid any more I would probably be more scathing in this review. Embarcation was a shambles. Rome was not the main port for embarcation, but i still ended having to queue in 4 different wrong lines after being directed by costa staff. All costa seemed to be interested in was to sell the all inclusive beverage package, which compared to other lines seems to be a good deal. This being the case, there was only water available during breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Tea and coffee was only available at breakfast time and during afternoon tea. Any other time it had to be purchased. Unless you had purchased the package or had the USA water exemption, water had to be purchased at dinner. Food at night was good, however if you missed your set dining, the only other option was to pay for food. Don't know what happened if you were on a costa excursion and came back after your seating time however. Lunch was varied, but with the same choices every day. Breakfast was diabolical. If you wanted anything either than a continental breakfast, the dining room was an option serving "International" fare. This was wait served And consisted of a full English - bacon, eggs, terrible brownish coloured beans etc., if for example you did not want eggs, this was not an option - you always had to have the lot as it was a preset plate. A Belgian breakfast - waffle and synthetic cream, an AMerican breakfast - pancakes and maple syrup and I can't remember what else as after the second day of trying to queue, and it was a long queue, I lost the will and kept to the buffets at the Lido. These were the same every day, nothing varied whatsoever, but you could get tea, coffee, water and concentrated fruit juices -until they turned the machines off. Entertainment was dire. Ok if you liked to hear the same Italian songs sung by different singers. There were good acts, one female singer, one male singer, an illusionist that was good but there was a lot of walking and prancing about, a variety show that was saved by a man using members of the audience and proceeding to pick their pockets. The dancers were average and unfortunately they put a show on every other day. There was major uncertainty about the itinerary, one of the stops was Ashdod, but this was cancelled. We were notified at embarkation therefore had no time to rearrange any private tours. Seems ironic that they could email me to remind me to book costa tours and the beverage package but not about things like rescheduling stops. At nine o clock when we were having dinner, either the day prior to a sea day, or the day before, the stop, I'm sorry I can't remember, but the port of Crete was cancelled due to industrial action at the port and was replaced with santorini. All in all the cruise was turning into a mystery tour! We had no choice but to book a costa tour for a full day in Galilee on the 7th November, but this was excellent due to the guide. We also had a wonderful meal at a hotel, which to be honest was the best meal we had all trip. They took our passports off us at embarkation and kept them until we got to Isreal despite us requesting them back for when we went ashore. We asked what would happen if we missed the ship at one of the ports, we were told that our costa card would be sufficient. I can just imagine how that would go down if we tried to book an airline ticket! The queue to get the passport back was incredible. All in all any arrangement by costa was shambolic, but no one seemed to care. I talked to several people who, for them, this was their first cruise, and have stated that they will never cruise again. Shame, as it's a wonderful experience. The entertainment staff in general were noisy, shouting even when they had microphones. One good thing though was if you liked ballroom dancing, they did actively encourage it with lessons on Deck and dance partners in the evening. This seemed to be enjoyed by a lot of people. If you want a library book - forget it, take your own. If you want games, unless you booked them out early you had no chance. All in all we have cruised with costa 4 times now, and this will be the last unless they get their act together. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
To begin with are the positive.... The ship was very clean and beautiful. We had a suite which was absolutely beautiful and perfect. Nicest suite we have ever been in. Our butler and room steward were fabulous and willing to do anything to ... Read More
To begin with are the positive.... The ship was very clean and beautiful. We had a suite which was absolutely beautiful and perfect. Nicest suite we have ever been in. Our butler and room steward were fabulous and willing to do anything to make us happy. Now that is it with the positive! Food was HORRIBLE!! And this was not just our opinion. Everyone in our group plus nearby table guests were in agreement. The chef should have realized this but all the plates being returned with food on them! Only hot breakfast food was in the dining room for a couple of hours each morning. And be sure NEVER to order the scrambled eggs--they must have been powdered ones---absolutely dreadful! No buffet or cafeteria style dining in the evening available. You had to go to the dining room. No extras in dining room---if you wanted a mixed drink you better bring one with you. No coffee as well. Only pop, wine or bottled water. The late seating started at 9:30 pm and by the time dinner was done it was 11:30 and time for bed!! Staff throughout the ship not accommodating and quite rude at times, but there were a very few nice ones. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We have not travelled on the Costa line for 3 years and the change was beyond belief. No carafe water was served in the dining room at any time. Bottled water was available, of course, at a cost and including a service charge. Tea and ... Read More
We have not travelled on the Costa line for 3 years and the change was beyond belief. No carafe water was served in the dining room at any time. Bottled water was available, of course, at a cost and including a service charge. Tea and coffee were available at breakfast, but not at lunch or dinner, unless one was prepared to pay for specialist drinks. The buffet closed at 5 p.m. for everything except iced water, (no hot water available after this time). We do not drink alcohol or soft drinks so this made it more difficult. Food quality was very poor. One lunch time we left the dining room, after an inedible meal, and were so hungry we had to go to the buffet. There was no steak served at any time, in the dining room, and one could have prawns or lobster, but at a price-- this in the ordinary dining room. We remember the quality and variety of the meals that used to be served, and it seems such a shame that it has deteriorated so badly. We are pearl members and chose this cruise for the excellent itinerary, but will never travel with Costa again, while present policy holds. The entertainment was poor, probably more suited to children. Shore excursions, that we were able to do, were excellent, but few available on the first leg of our cruise, as there were few English speakers. After having two tours cancelled we had to tell the tour office that we would be happy to take any tour, but still had tours cancelled late on the day before a tour, and after the tour office closed, so too late to organise anything else. We had pre- booked, weeks before embarkation. Staff and crew were generally excellent, except in the dining room, where there were too few waiters for meals, and too many drinks waiters. The ship was very pretty, but lacking in lounge areas; standing room only in the evenings, after first dining, unless one wanted to sit in the theatre. Comparing it to the 5 other cruise lines we have travelled, Costa does not give value for money. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I just read the review from april 30 2014, and I think we were on the same cruise. And I could not agree more. This cruise was not a nice experience. The ship was too crowded, lots of kids running around and occupying all swimmingpools. ... Read More
I just read the review from april 30 2014, and I think we were on the same cruise. And I could not agree more. This cruise was not a nice experience. The ship was too crowded, lots of kids running around and occupying all swimmingpools. And the decks had so many sunbeds it was at times difficult to walk around. The food was not of particular good quality, and there were too much waiting in line. And a fight for table space. And often it was no coffee or orange juice to be found. Fortunately I had the possibility for breakfast in my cabin. The restaurant was no good too much time waiting. And small portions of not good food. And having to pay for water wirt dinner? And I missed the possibility to dine in the buffet restaurant, but no such luck. Another stange thing was that you had to pay to use shuttle bus from ship to the cities visited. That should have been included. These are just some of my complaints. And I also tried to talk to the english speeking hostess, but she was not of much help. Whatever I tried to explain, the reply was, it was Costa policy. I tried to be connected to a more responsible officer, but no such luck. I will prepare a long letter to Costa Cruises with all my complaints. I did not receive the cruise I prdered and paid for. Never again Costa Cruises Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Do not chose this cruise line. Regardless of the price. I beg you. There are too many excellent cruise lines. This is not one of them. First, the embarkation process. This was a total disaster. There were no announcements made. There was ... Read More
Do not chose this cruise line. Regardless of the price. I beg you. There are too many excellent cruise lines. This is not one of them. First, the embarkation process. This was a total disaster. There were no announcements made. There was an "information" line, in which I spent 45 minutes. She checked my documents, and and was told to wait here. It was immediately apparent that there was no purpose to the line. We then saw numerous people walking outside the building, in a pouring rain, with their luggage. We followed. There was confusion once in this new building. After some help from Italian speaking passengers, we got luggage tags, which we put on our luggage, along with a number (6), presumably for another line. We then followed them into the previous building, again in the pouring rain, with our number 6. Number one was called, and all passengers, regardless of their number (1 to 10), lined up, with pushing and shoving. We lined up as well. This was more of a free for all than an orderly process. Costa does this every week. I should have taken this to be a warning of things to come.Suffice it to say, things went downhill from here. We only met our cabin person on the last day of the 12 day cruise, and only by happenstance. We went back to the cabin to grab something at the request of another passenger, and ran into the cabin steward. I am unclear how this happens. We have always known our cabin people from day 1. Next was dinner. After waiting 1/2 hour, we were provided a menu. We were then asked what we wanted to drink. I said coffee. The reply was that I would need to go up to deck 5, and purchase it, and bring it back down. At this point, after waiting for so long, and the coffee thing, we spoke with the person at the front desk. He said that the long wait was due to the muster drill. I said that all the tables around us were being served, and were on the main course, so this was not the reason. He then repeated the muster drill explanation, only louder. As if I would then understand. We ended up leaving in frustration. We thought we could go to the buffet, but there is no buffet for dinner. We also tried to call the front desk, several times, and they didn't answer. On one call, we gave them 45 minutes. We were forced to dress, and go stand in line at the front desk to get answers to our questions. I could go on and on. I think you catch the drift. When you work hard, you expect and deserve a great vacation. You won't find it here. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Worst cruise ever!!! I have been on over 20 cruises, Azamara, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Carnival and Premier (got to be old to remember that one). I booked the Costa Serena for 8 of us, 2 families with adult children, mostly due to the ... Read More
Worst cruise ever!!! I have been on over 20 cruises, Azamara, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Carnival and Premier (got to be old to remember that one). I booked the Costa Serena for 8 of us, 2 families with adult children, mostly due to the itinerary. We embarked in Civitavecchia, Italy (Rome). Most people had embarked in Savona, so embarkation was very quick. Strange thing, they insisted on taking our passports stating that Italian Customs required they keep them in a safe. The passports would be reviewed by authorities prior to disembarkation and returned to us. What if we had an issue in port?? Also in the past 2 years I was on a cruise from Venice and another from Stockholm and was able to keep my passport. Muster drill was done in English for the few of us English speaking guests onboard. We met in a lounge then up to life boats. Paul, the English speaking host was very informative and stated that the ship would sail at only 50% capacity for this week. Wow, things don't look good for Costa. Considering the low occupancy rate, I thought it was funny that we were not given any upgrades. I paid full price for 3 cabins back in November and watched the price go down to $299 pp prior to sailing, after final payment. I called my travel agent and Costa to try to get an upgrade or any other type of compensation but they would not budge. You would think that an upgrade that costs them nothing would be good customer service, especially after all the bad press! Then negatives... -5 Euro charge for breakfast in your cabin -2 Euro charge for room service -10.50 Euro for a vodka and OJ, charge separately for each -no lido deck buffet for dinner, dining room ONLY for dinner -dinner menu with very few choices, 2 soups, 2 appetizers, 2 pasta, 4 main -no steak, fillet or lobster -breakfast in the dining room was a buffet? Same as lido deck. - midnight buffet with all the carvings, but no food. Waiters walked around with trays of cookies?? -setting up onboard charges with a machine that didn't work, purser's desk would not help, yes I did it online prior to boarding -very poor service from onboard staff, purser's desk The only excursion I booked with Costa was from Savona to Monoco which I paid for in March. Three days into the cruise I noticed a very small note in the "Today", daily paper that the excursion had been cancelled. I went down to the shore excursion desk and was told that it was cancelled because it was too close to the grand prix. They stated that I would not be reimbursed with my original form of payment but they would give me an onboard credit to cover all my expenses and tips!! Since I had to pay for tips and onboard charges I figured it would all work out. I was wrong, the last day when the final bill arrived I was not given the credit and had multiple charges?? After talking to the shore excursion desk and the purser's desk no one was willing to help. I was told to dispute the charge with my credit company. When I came home I emailed Costa and a Costa representative called me. She said that in the fine print of the cruise contract it states that shore excursions cancelled after sailing will be reimbursed as an onboard credit. She went on to say that onboard credits do not include reimbursements for tips and that no cash refund is given. After much discussion Costa agreed to send me a check. Just Crazy!! Upon disembarkation, the ship cleared customs and passengers were getting off but we had to wait for our passports. The passports sat behind the desk but we had to wait almost an hour because the desk didn't open until 8am!!! In over 20 cruises I have never had a bad cruise. This is actually my first cruise review, but I felt it necessary to let others know just how bad it was. I think the only positive reviews are from first timers. While I realize cruising has changed in 30 years I still find it a wonderful way to travel! Just not with Costa, never again!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
On arrival at port we were herded into what is best described as a holding bay.There we sat for approx one and a half hours.Poor quality orange juice was provided in plastic cups,but no food.Things did not get better.We joined the ship to ... Read More
On arrival at port we were herded into what is best described as a holding bay.There we sat for approx one and a half hours.Poor quality orange juice was provided in plastic cups,but no food.Things did not get better.We joined the ship to a somewhat cursory welcome.Now past lunchtime we headed for the self service buffet.However no food was available as it had all been cleared away.When we asked where we could find something to eat we were told,sorry all closed now.Hot and cold water were provided when available,as more often than not the machines were empty.Tea bags were at an absolute premium.In any event only plastic cups were provided.Food in the restaurant was poor,mostly frozen,and the service not much better.Entertainment was a joke,the only highlight being the crews own show which surpassed the so called professionals by a mile.The ship was overcrowded,if you could find a seat,which was not easy,you sat in very close proximity to your neighbour.Blackpool on sea.An abundance of children who overran the ship.Adults only pool was constantly used by children.Occasional pathetic attempts to control the situation failed.The staff appeared to have a could not care less attitude.Complaints fell on deaf ears with the crew defending company policy.Just about everything was charged as extras.Smoking in just about all the recreation areas was the order of the day,the areas for non smokers were tucked away.Cabin was good but noisy on the balcony.Definitely biased to Italians who seemed to like it.Worst cruise ever.We are seasoned cruisers,but I will never set foot on a Costa cruise ever again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Just returned from a very bad cruise ship. This was our first and last time on this cruise line. Very poor communications from them regarding itinerary changes. Some people given credit on board because of changes others were not.The worst ... Read More
Just returned from a very bad cruise ship. This was our first and last time on this cruise line. Very poor communications from them regarding itinerary changes. Some people given credit on board because of changes others were not.The worst part was how bad the ship smelled of smoke, beware if you are not a smoker this ship is NOT for you.I became sick on the ship after the first night from all the smoke, I asked for a pitcher of water for my cabin and was told you must order from room service. All food was served many different times until it all started to taste the same. No juice or ice tea available like on every other cruise ship I have ever been on.Could not even get coffee and tea except at certain times. Room service was charged each time it is used. This was not a cheap cruise and we expected much more than we received. Even the shows were poor quality.Oh and when you book a tour plan on being taken to some side excursion were they want you to shop. We were taken to a rug factory and spent more time there then on the excursion. We could not wait to get off this ship!After just returning from the Celebrity Summit which was fantastic what a disappointment this Cruise was! Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
I took 3 years to find the time, the cruise and the money for what was supposed to be the experience of my life.   An 11 nights cruise to Egypt, Holyland, Izmir and Athens, in the Costa Pacific, "the ship of the music".   ... Read More
I took 3 years to find the time, the cruise and the money for what was supposed to be the experience of my life.   An 11 nights cruise to Egypt, Holyland, Izmir and Athens, in the Costa Pacific, "the ship of the music".   We live in South America, so besides the $ 2,600 of cruise, have to add $ 2,000 for air tickets ( the cheapest ones ) Everything was OK until early January when disturbs in Cairo began. I checked Costa website everyday, but no warnings appeared, but when 90 days cancellation frame was over, immediately received "sorry, no Egypt" but 2 nights at Israel, and later "sorry, no Israel". I wanted to cancel or modify the cruise and they said "ok, we keep the $ 800 deposit"   However, I just could read at a Costa book in the cruise, that cancellation fee for Europe was only 30 euros within 45 days from departure.   My recommendation with Costa is "look at the small printing" every word in their favor, they will take.   Regarding the cruise, it was good, but how can you compare the pyramids and Jerusalem against a boring place like Limassol. Food was good, entertainment fair, and I must recognize this cruise was fun at nights.   And what about our travel agency, American Airlines ? They helped nothing.   I almost forget, Athens call was only 6 hours because of a "metallurgic workers" strike that nobody on town knew about.   PS Please, forgive my English, I speak Spanish. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
This is an old(er) ship (1993) - and it looks rather 'tatty'. Although we stayed in the Grand Suite, it was all rather 3 star (not 5 star). When it rained, the water came into our suite in sheets. We had a butler, who was ... Read More
This is an old(er) ship (1993) - and it looks rather 'tatty'. Although we stayed in the Grand Suite, it was all rather 3 star (not 5 star). When it rained, the water came into our suite in sheets. We had a butler, who was ever so obliging, and this is the only 'saving grace' on this rather mediocre experience. The dining room food was very, very hit or miss (more miss, than hit). A rather gruesome canteen with hoards of passengers with lots of loud children throwing food at each other, and not enough places to sit down, was the other 'option'. The entertainment was simply awful, quite often vulgar, and tasteless. The shows were amateur, with very little talent. (Games in which passengers tried to break balloons with their bodies, or where they simulated a sexual act with a large skillet and ladle. The 2 'gala' evenings - were everything except chic - especially since 90% of the passengers didn't bother to dress up (let alone put on a tuxedo). If there is a problem with an excursion, even if it is the fault of the ship, they will hound you for payment. This company is not client centric. If your standards are moderate to high, we urge you to look at another property (and probably not on the Costa line). Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
We got to Rome and our luggage was lost both mine and my wife's, also about twelve other people on our KLM flight from Amsterdam. I'm disabled but can walk a little with a lot of pain.After filling missing luggage forms out we ... Read More
We got to Rome and our luggage was lost both mine and my wife's, also about twelve other people on our KLM flight from Amsterdam. I'm disabled but can walk a little with a lot of pain.After filling missing luggage forms out we were rushed by Costa reps to the bus which we thought were outside, but no they were 1/4 mile away up the road as taxis were out the front. All the time we and other disabled passengers had to stop and slow down the rep as we were rushed. On ship we were told they will search for the luggage and they gave us toiletry bags robe and t shirt each. My wife's antidepressants had fallen out in the taxi at home and the others were in the suitcases and she was just crying all the time. The luggage didn't catch up with us until we left Pal ma so for nearly 4 days we wore the same clothes as we were told that the bags were coming but they didn't so that morning in pal ma we bought some but my wife just cried nearly continuously for the first three days and I was getting worked up seeing her like it. Must say though the captain and the staff were brilliant just the luggage was always one step behind and a few of the twelve that luggage was lost didn't get any clothes back on the cruise. Anyway the ship was lovely and so were the staff, I only wish I hadn`t booked the cruise over a year ago as i read reviews just before i went and they were right, if you like pizza great other wise food in the evening was terrible the posh nosh in the New York restaurant looked good but I Had only Jeans and shirt and when we went in the looks we had made us uncomfortable so we left and had the buffet.We could not find a quite spot any where on the ship its just music everywhere.the shows we did go to see were great but at first my wife was to upset to go anywhere. The main theme of this cruise was at any opportunity to take photos and make money you couldn`t even make tea in the cabin. the surprise came at the end as we got off the ship my wife and I and our friend pushing his wife in a wheel chair proceeded to head to the coach for the airport when we were stopped by security.He pointed to the end of the building about 50 yards and don`t forget your luggage How the hell was brian pushing a wheel chair going to pick up 2 cases and push the wheelchair to the coach it seemed as soon as your of they didn't want to know we all had muck in and help.The same at the air port we were just dropped off and had the same problem so disabled people be aware! Would I go again no to many rood Italians not all but most especially in the buffet,shows great staff great Ive had my moan thanks for reading hope it helps Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
This is a huge ship, accommodating something like 2800 passengers, and it came as a surprise just before we started to find out that this formerly Italian line had been purchased by Carnival. The cruise itself was mostly a big ... Read More
This is a huge ship, accommodating something like 2800 passengers, and it came as a surprise just before we started to find out that this formerly Italian line had been purchased by Carnival. The cruise itself was mostly a big disappointment, and the biggest disappointment -- universally as far as I could tell from other American passengers -- was the food. Drab, tasteless, and certainly not the quality of Italian food that you can find at the simplest Trattoria in Italy or even decent Italian restaurants in the States! The "buffet" offered as an alternative to the formal dining rooms for breakfast, lunch and dinner was mostly "disgusting" -- offering, for example, breakfast of powdered scrambled eggs, dry pancakes and waffles, and lots of cold cuts. "Gross!" as the kids say. The only really good meal we had aboard was at the extra-pay "private" restaurant, where the service and the food reminded me of what cruises used to be. With the $20/each fee, wine and tip, it ran $100. The cruise was clearly aimed at middle class Italian and European families (kids travel free) and offered little that was upscale or sophisticated. The service onboard was good, and the price was probably fair. The diversions onboard, mostly slot machine gambling or sunning, were sort of empty. The entertainment, except for one night, was painfully amateurish. Finally -- and I guess this is widely true of all cruise lines -- the cruise has its hands out for extra money every time you turn around. You pay for excursions, which are mostly poorly organized affairs that "dump" you into hard-sell shopping opportunities in awful places like Tunis. You pay for drinks, of course, even bar prices for every Coke you imbibe. The cruise itself is a constant barrage of shopping opportunities with a great deal of junk jewelry ($10 watches, for example) and other junk. Remember that Europeans smoke like chimneys, everywhere including elevators! Children are unruly and all parents don't pay enough attention to controlling their kids, inflicting them on others! And, finally, as has been widely stated -- Europeans do not know how to stand in line! They push and shove their way in to buffet lines and everywhere else. After being surprised, even shocked, the Americans I saw simply started standing their ground and refusing to allow this kind of line crashing. One irony is that it is an international group of passengers. All announcements are made in 5 languages! But, you don't get the benefit of the internationality, as they seat you with people like you. That does allow easier conversation, but it would be much more fun if there are a greater opportunity to mix as even if the English weren't perfect, most Europeans speak some to quite a bit of English. One thing to be very careful of planning better than we did is ground transportation to and from the ship. You can buy transfers from the cruise line at a reasonable price ($30 each way) if you are going to and from the airport. But, if you go to Rome ahead of time, you will find yourself stuck paying huge fees to limo services -- I figure we spent around $500 just for ground transportation between Rome and the port Civitavecchia! There are cheaper ways to do it, including the train, but you'd better be able to lug your own suitcases from the train platform without any help, elevators or escalators. We did love the stops in Spain, both Barcelona and Majorca, and in Palermo and Malta. Most of these we explored on our own. Many people remarked that they found the excursions were overpriced and not well run. In conclusion, I suppose I am a grouch and the cruise probably was a lot of fun for most of the 2800 passengers onboard this HUGE ship, but it has cured me of the desire to ever again do this kind of cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
On October 29, 2005, my wife and I flew to Rome with two friends for a cruise to the Mediterranean on Costa Cruise Lines. The airline personnel on Alatalia were less than candid regarding seating. At JFK airport we arrived 2-1/2 hours ... Read More
On October 29, 2005, my wife and I flew to Rome with two friends for a cruise to the Mediterranean on Costa Cruise Lines. The airline personnel on Alatalia were less than candid regarding seating. At JFK airport we arrived 2-1/2 hours early and were told bulkhead seats were only available just prior to boarding the aircraft. I am 6'4" and could use the extra leg room. We were also not permitted to upgrade. At the Rome airport, we arrived three hours early and requested bulkhead or exit seats and were informed that they had already been filled and that we should have phoned two hours earlier. The Costa rep never informed us of this situation. Not only did she lose two of us at the airport in her haste but she was no help to us in any way. It seems that if you show up early they will not accommodate your seating request but if you show up later, they won't do anything either. As for Alatalia airlines, we WON'T be showing up again! To date, we have not been credited with our onepass miles with Continental. It seems to be taking forever. The ship, CostaMagica, is something to behold! The color scheme and design of the main dining room must have been dreamt up by Ray Charles subject to the approval of Stevie Wonder. Talk about tacky..........what color combinations. The room was a constant hot house. The men were lucky, as we were able to remove our jackets. Many of the passengers did not have that concern on formal nights. They simply wore clean polo shirts. Undoubtedly, one of the male diners was a "gentleman" who earlier in the afternoon saw fit to blow his nose into the hot tub (YUCK!) What the heck..........babies in diapers were also allowed in the hot tubs! Very sanitary! The chandeliers bordered on being obscene. They would have to be seen to be believed! On a good day some of the elevators worked but not all. After our second day at sea, we were given the life jacket drill. Isn't that usually done before you leave port? Thank God we didn't sink before the second day! On an Italian ship, one would expect to be served good food. Guess again, selections were limited, bread was terrible....a choice between bread sticks and thawed out rolls. No variety. Forget about seconds or changing your order. Beef, chicken and veal were tough enough to sole your shoes with, all of which was in line with the general lack of quality and poor service. Desserts were so bad they could have been upgraded with Twinkies! What ever happened to good old-fashioned Italian pastries? All of the other cruises we've been on (this was our 12th), we've been served Lobster and Filet Mignon at least once during the course of a seven night cruise. We did have some very bad shrimp once. I requested iced tea at dinner and was told it was only in a can and would cost extra. We were provided with one very small bar of soap for the week and it did not lather. If you wanted body lotion or a shower cap, it was by request only. BATHROBES? Forget about it! Chocolates on your pillow? Are you kidding? No way! In all fairness, the coffee was good but on the last day at the last meal, a couple next to us (not Americans) were asked if they'd like espresso or cappuccino. That's the first we knew that this was a choice we could have had all week. Nobody volunteered any information to us. Talk about chintzy!!! ENTERTAINMENT!!! What entertainment? I have been more entertained by watching my daughter-in-law change my grandson's diaper. All of the music was canned and the same recorded introduction was played every night. The introductions for the "Shows?" were done first in Italian (understandable), followed by French, Spanish, German and as an afterthought in English! We sailed on Cunard, Holland America, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean lines and were always astonished at the number of and the talent of the musicians. Usually there are two Broadway-worthy shows! The Captain's "Cocktail Party" was designated to sitting in the theatre and being served a choice of either something that tasted like bad Gatorade and Philadelphia's finest canned champagne, while listening to the Captain introduce the entire crew......once again in Italian, French, Spanish, German and oh yes, English! Cleanliness - Some of the glasses and tables in the Piano Bar appeared to have been washed with floor mops. The shops on the ship were expensive (to be expected) but had no variety. Our travelling companions (friends for over 55 years) are of Italian-American descent, and they too were, to say the least, very disenchanted! We had been on several cruises with them previously and they declared that no way would they ever again take a Costa Cruise or tour. Costa also booked us into a second-class hotel costing $200 per person per night somewhere in the middle of nowhere in the middle of Rome. We had to take multiple transportation to get to anything worth seeing. There was nothing within walking distance. We are now looking into a July/August Alaska cruise on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean or Holland America. It's best to stay with a proven winner and not be treated like a fourth class citizen. I wonder.........does anyone ever book a second cruise with Costa? Maybe people who enjoy root canal and are rude, pushy and ignorant. WHAT MORE CAN I SAY? Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
Ah yes! The COSTATRAGICA! For starters-Ugly ship. Did I say Ugly ship? I meant VERY UGLY SHIP! It must have been designed by a person with a severe drinking problem. It can't have been planned that way on purpose. Not to mention, ... Read More
Ah yes! The COSTATRAGICA! For starters-Ugly ship. Did I say Ugly ship? I meant VERY UGLY SHIP! It must have been designed by a person with a severe drinking problem. It can't have been planned that way on purpose. Not to mention, it's dirty. Terrible food, really terrible food served in a sweltering dining room and on deck. Your choice of either bread (bread sticks or thawed out rolls) left much to be desired. It did however compliment the boringly bland poor quality entrees. The COSTATRAGICA must have a corner on rude people both passengers and many of the crew personnel. If you are lucky enough to find an elevator that works, good luck trying to get on or off it. The pool was loaded with pushy slobs and children in diapers--in violation of the rules and common sense. God help you if you speak English! You are a 5th class citizen and if you happen to deal with the English speaking representative and he says hello to you, he's most likely lying to you. Talk about useless. Unfortunately,the ship was sooo bad that it overshadowed the excellent ports of call. What the heck, it only cost 6 K altogether. We sail at least once a year and have booked a cruise to Alaska in July on Celebrity which we have used 5 times before as well as Royal Caribbean and Holland America, all great lines. It's a shame we didn't use one of them for this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
I was with a family group of 25 on this cruise, so interacting with and meeting others was not a priority. If I had been alone, however, the predominantly foreign crowd and lack of English announcements and activities would not have been ... Read More
I was with a family group of 25 on this cruise, so interacting with and meeting others was not a priority. If I had been alone, however, the predominantly foreign crowd and lack of English announcements and activities would not have been conducive to socializing.The stateroom was very nice, and I liked the layout of the ship. I'm not big on activities, and with early and late happy hours, when not on excursions or eating, a lot of my time was spent in the bar. The happy hour is 2 for price of 1, but they must be identical drinks. OK, so I'll drink some more. Wine and soda/water packages kept the price down at meals. The dining room was very nice, with elaborate multicourse meals. The ingredients are put on board at the beginning of a cruise, and I would have preferred simple, fresh foods. The pizza at the bar is good late at night, and I never went to the midnight buffet (except on a tour). I went on all the official Costa sponsored land excursions, as I figured they are guaranteed to get back to the boat on time. Every tour was excellent, with good busses and guides.My main gripe was the poor air conditioning. When the dining room doors open and hundreds of bodies pour in, the temperature rises 20 degrees and the AC can't keep up. The mediterranean is hot and humid in the summer, and it was uncomfortable most of the time on board. The heavy cigarette smoke doesn't help either.For a follow-up cruise I would be inclined to look toward a cruise line that is geared to Americans, as I believe the AC would be up to snuff and smoking would be curtailed. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
I,m going to try to be as fair as possible. I'll start with the embarkation process. We arrived to the port(Civitavecchia) early so we walked around town. When it was time, we didn't have any problems. Everything went completely ... Read More
I,m going to try to be as fair as possible. I'll start with the embarkation process. We arrived to the port(Civitavecchia) early so we walked around town. When it was time, we didn't have any problems. Everything went completely smooth. We went to our cabin and it was perfect. Nice decor and clean. We met our stewardess, Katerina and she was an angel. Really nice and helpful.Our first hiccup, was the fire drill. We asked several employees and no one knew where we had to go. Someone said it was in the theater, but it was empty, so after waiting for a while we went back to our cabin.Food in the MDR was very good. The portions are small but that's the way the Italian eat. If you order the five courses you will be fine. I always order no more than three and for me was perfect, since we had the late seating and I don't like to go to bed too full. The breakfast buffet was awful, the eggs look like egg soup, the oatmeal, completely watery. All this is understandable since Europeans don't eat big breakfast like we do. Lunch buffet was OK. Pizza not the way Americans eat them with a lot of cheese.Smoking is really bad, but again Europeans smoke a lot. It seems they haven't heard about cancer and smoking.We didn't use the casino, because of the smoking. In the open areas was OK.Ports visited were nice. We couldn't visit Tunis and Marseilles was a disaster. We got in to Marseilles and they had buses (7Euros) to take you to the city. We got in a bus and after waiting for one hour in a traffic jam, they stopped a bus that was coming from the town and took us back to the ship. We couldn't see Marseilles which was one of the places I wanted to see. Costa knew that there was a strike in the port and they put the people at risk. Later we learned that a bus was attacked and the strikers laid down on the streets so no one would go into the city. They even had to call the police.All in all, the cruise was OK. We were four couples, so we had a great time. Europeans in general are not as polite as the Americans. They cut the lines, they bump into you and not say sorry, they rush into the elevators even if they see that you were first, but at the end we did the same to them and laugh. Like they say Live and Learn!!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
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